Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart.
"We were married for 18 years. And he finally moved out 2 weeks before my 50th (January) birthday. It was a big celebration."
HOW DID YOU MEET?
"We actually met online, on an adult BBS board where people would chit chat and play games and what not. People from the board were getting together to meet in person for one of the girl's birthdays and that's the first time I met him and we've been together ever since. That was June 16, 1997."
DID YOU GET MARRIED RIGHT AWAY?
"We ended up getting pregnant 9 months after we started dating. So to get on his insurance, we decided to get married. We were going to get married later, but this kind of sped things up. We got married on February 28, 1998 and I miscarried the following day, March 1, in the morning. And we never ended up having kids. They say everything happens for a reason, and here we are. So the only custody deal we ever had was for the furry kids. And all is well with that."
WHEN DID YOU START TO NOTICE THINGS WERE NOT WORKING OUT?
"To be truthful, it was when I found out he was having an affair and in love with somebody else. And then after I found out that, I found out more truths of him cheating on me. Things just got way too ugly and it ended up being better for us to separate and work on ourselves and go back to being best friends instead of husband and wife."
HOW LONG AGO WAS IT THAT YOU FOUND THIS OUT?
"It was right after his car accident in 2013 and we were in the hospital. My friend and I were standing there and he was getting ready to be wheeled up to x-ray and I asked him to give me his cell phone and he was like "No, no, no, I'll keep it with me". I looked at my friend like "uh huh". Then I went Charlie's Angels on his ass and that's how I found out. Now, two years before that I had found a picture of him and his girlfriend. I confronted him back then and he said it was just somebody he met and blah blah blah. I continued on with this dream I was living, that he would change and things would be different and it just never turned out that way. I just couldn't live like that anymore. And in September (of 2014) I told him that he needed to call her 'cause I was done. I was done being mistreated and verbally abused. He's going through a lot of emotional stuff and everything so, that's why I just chose to end it and he's moved out. It's the best thing we could've done for each other. We've already gone back to being friends. We're better friends than we are a couple."
WHAT KIND OF TOLL DID THAT TAKE ON YOU?
"It's not the first time it's happened. It's happened over the years, here and there. But we were always able to work it out. I was always able to turn my feelings off and still dream that dream. And it just never happened. Him being a controlling person and me being...I'm not assertive in any way. I don't have an inner 'bitch' in me. I never would stand up for myself. I don't like to fight. I don't like screaming and yelling or anything negative. But it just became too much. It was taking a toll on me. I didn't even know who I was anymore. I lost myself a long time ago. And when I started singing again, three or four years ago, that literally saved my life. It restored my soul. I had not sang in 20 years! He would never allow me to do that kind of stuff. Even during these last few years, he was envious and jealous of my friends and me singing."
WHY DIDN'T HE JUST JOIN YOU OR GO ALONG? OR AT LEAST BE PEACEFUL WITH YOU DOING THOSE THINGS IF HE DIDN'T WANT TO?
"Nope. That's not his thing, whatsoever. To be honest, I swear he's got NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I was just over his place visiting the other night. He made me dinner and then I was waiting to leave until his girlfriend showed up (I'm actually starting to be friends with her). She doesn't know if she can do it. She thinks I'm a saint for putting up with it all these years. "
HOW DID YOU PUT UP WITH THAT ALL THOSE YEARS?
"Because of how I was raised, who I was raised by. I have the patience of a God. I'm a good person and even though all of the horrible things he's said and done and broken my heart over and over again, I still love him. I'm not in love with him as a husband. But as my friend, I'll always love him. That's what he's afraid of, of losing his best friend. I told him I'm not going anywhere or I'd have done it years ago."
"Everybody says that to me. My family, everybody. Cause a lot of people don't even wanna see him cause they'd beat the shit out of him. They're angry for me. But, I told everybody this is how I'm handling it. I'd appreciate it if when they see him in person that they don't come down on him. Everybody has their own issues and crap that they have going on in their life. It's just the way things worked out. And in my heart of hearts I always knew that I deserved better and that it was gonna happen this way, but like I said, I was living in that dream. I loved him so much and I lost that best friend and he lost that best friend in me and we're working on getting that back. That's what's most important.
It's the way I had to do it. I love my in-laws and will still go visit them with him. We have friends that are coming into town soon and we are meeting them in the Poconos and spending the night. If he's still with his girlfriend, she's meeting up with us in New York, 'cause she knows that area well. So they'll get to meet her too. This is the way we're handling it.
He'll never be able to put me down again, call me names again, yell and scream at me again. I've become so comfortable with hanging up on him which he's done to me for years which I always found so rude. And the name calling? I never, ever, ever called him a name. I'm not gonna do that to myself anymore, to my mom...
I lived with my parents for God's sake, and they had to deal with listening to him yell and scream at me and not be able to do anything about it. It broke my father's heart because he was bedridden and told my mom to tell him to stop yelling at me. He couldn't get out of bed. She told him they couldn't interfere."
THAT'S WHY I'M SO SHOCKED THAT YOU WOULD STILL WANT THAT FRIENDSHIP.
"Well, my God, we spent so many years together. I would never....
I see his personalities like Jekyl and Hyde. When he is Dr. Jekyl, he is awesome. Fun to hang out with, talk to, this and all that. But the Mr. Hyde...the negative, nasty, screaming is just....
And the narcissistic is kind of annoying too. You try to talk to him and share your story of your day and get instantly cut off by something totally random about his day. He never listened to what I had to say over the years. The past couple of months has opened my eyes, like "Oh my God, he's been like this all along!"
HAVING THAT TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP AND BEING TREATED THAT WAY MUST DO A NUMBER ON YOUR SELF ESTEEM, THOUGH YOU DON'T SOUND LIKE IT HAS. HOW DO YOU NOT LET THAT GET YOU DOWN?
"It definitely was (a problem). I packed on the pounds over the years and kept those pounds on. I was suffering from depression. After I miscarried, I didn't go back on my Prozac 'cause he told me I didn't need it. So for years, he did different things to me. Cheated on me, broke my heart, brought me down again, this and that. Time would go on and of course I'd forgive him. I'd dream that dream that things were gonna change. Things would be going good for a little while and then maybe a year later, he'd do it all again. It was a vicious cycle. When it came to the physical side of the relationship; I had never been in a relationship before him. I was 32 years old when I met him. Before that I was single. I had a lot of fun, a lot of lovers over the years. I was raped when I was 10 years old and always had that bad self-esteem happening. The whole being naked in front of another person. Even in school, I couldn't handle it. And I don't know how I did it, but I got out of going to gym in high school. He was expecting me to be the one to initiate. I was like. "Why don't you? I'm the one that's hurt here." It just never worked out that way. Cause he's got NPD on top of drug and sex addiction. How about that!? Big time with downloading the porn and craigslist and all that..."
"Oh yeah. In the past and recently. He had an affair with our good friend when we lived in another state. And I thought that was the closest we ever were! And here he was fucking her. That was when he went on Cupid.com and met his now girlfriend. I found all of this out after that car accident and 10 days before my dad's memorial. My mother and father in law were coming into town. Talk about being a good actress. I had to fake my way through that one. It's been a really rough year and a half. With all the heartbreak and the letting him go. Instantly though, my house is happy and mellow and peaceful. Even the dogs are peaceful. They were even stressed out by his stress. I definitely miss sleeping with somebody else. After sharing a bed for 17/18 years, it's hard."
SO HE MET THIS GIRL HE IS WITH NOW ON CUPID WHILE HE WAS WITH YOU. DID SHE KNOW HE WAS MARRIED?
"He introduced himself as married but in an open marriage. She just thought I didn't give a shit since he was available every Friday. She had wanted to call me. And finally, after the accident, I couldn't take it anymore. He was sleeping and I answered his phone and said "is this the chick that's fucking my husband?" She was like "um, yeah". We were on the phone for about 45 minutes. I instantly liked her. She was dealt a bad hand. He lied to her too."
WHY IS SHE STAYING WITH HIM?
"She doesn't know if she can. He does love her and she cares about him. She sees how much pain he's in. They're just dating at this point. I just told them that no matter what happens, at least they've found a new friend in each other."
DO YOU REGRET THE MARRIAGE?
"Not at all. I don't regret anything in my life. I don't regret being raped. I don't regret anything 'cause it's made me who I am today."
I FEEL THAT WAY TOO, BUT I DON'T KNOW THAT I'D HAVE THE SAME OUTLOOK ABOUT BEING RAPED.
"It is what it is. It happened. Like I said, it made me who I am today. My life wouldn't have gone down the path it's gone. I wouldn't trade that for the world. I wouldn't know you. I wouldn't have gone to California and done two Americas cups. There's so many things that wouldn't have been if that hadn't happened. I wouldn't change it. It is what it is and everything happens for a reason. I'm the reason I guess."
LASTLY, WOULD YOU WANT TO BE MARRIED OR IN A RELATIONSHIP AGAIN?
"Definitely yes to a relationship. Married, I'm not sure. We're not getting a divorce right away. I don't know. If he were really super rich, god damn right. (Laughter)
Actually, I should say yes because you know, I didn't have the wedding that I always wanted. My dad was able to walk me down the aisle and that was the most important thing to me. But I didn't have the dress, the wedding, the reception party. I never had a honeymoon. And he was never a gift giver, would forget Christmas and birthdays and Valentine's Day. I mean we'd go to dinner and whatever, but it was nothing like what traditional couples do. It broke my heart in the beginning and made me sad but I kind of grew used to it. I guess I was in such a depression and still dreaming."
SO DO YOU STILL HAVE THE DREAM?
"Oh, yes and always will be a dreamer. The dream has changed, that's for sure. As far as me being happily together with a man that loves and appreciates me and treats me well...treats me like my dad treated my mom and us, I would love for that to happen. But if it doesn't, then that's ok, I got my girls."